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Top Ten Most Popular Library Items (March 2004)

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Posted by dormouse (1st Mar 2004, 14:15)

Originally published in Wyrmtongue March 2004.

If you're wondering what to read or watch next, this may give you inspiration. Here is what has been most popular with ICSF members over the last 5 years. And if you've already tried all these, get yourself a copy of the leaflet in the library which lists various award winners - we've made an effort this year to ensure we have (nearly) all of them available for you.

Top 10 authors:

Numbers shown are the number of borrowings.

  • Terry Pratchett (comic fantasy) - 220
  • Neil Gaiman - 111
  • Peter F Hamilton (our Picocon guest, sf) - 87
  • Isaac Asimov (sf grand master) - 83
  • Anne McCaffrey (dragons, fantasy/sf, romance) - 81
  • Robert Jordan (fantasy, the Wheel of Time series) - 77
  • Robert Heinlein (another old sf master) - 70
  • Orson Scott Card (both fantasy and sf, Ender's Game and Alvin) - 68
  • David Eddings (multiple fantasy series, Belgariad) - 66
  • Lois McMaster Bujold (space opera, some fantasy) - 60

Now that seems like a pretty good representation to me, but it's going to be biased towards authors who have written lots of books. So here's another list which looks at the popularity of specific books, with karne as your friendly guide:

Top 10 books

Numbers shown are the number of borrowings.


Excession, Iain Banks - 12

Lorna's comment on ths book is "I'm two thirds of the way through and I don't know what's going on!" I sympathise but I love Bank's Culture all the same.


Dune, Frank Herbert - 11

Classic, never finished it (not a fan of the style). Film's fun though.


Neverwhere, Neil Gaiman - 11

There's a TV version which is also very popular. Fantasy based in London and the tube.


The Nano Flower, Peter F Hamilton - 10 and The Reality Dysfunction, Peter F Hamilton - 10

Cyberpunk meets detective fiction. Hamilton's science ocasionally stretches credulity (don't tell him it's part of his charm, maybe) but you get an energetic plot, good characterisation and a distracting amount of sex.


Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson - 10

Rather more 'chrome' (focused, cold, slightly distant) cyberpunk, better if you like that sort.


Use of Weapons, Iain M Banks - 10

Not a book I'd suggest as an introduction to Banks (ditto with The Wasp Factory), and the moralising overwhelmes the plot occasionally, but gives an excellent feel for why Banks is one of the UK's best SF writers.


Wheel of Time series, Robert Jordan

Urg, Thug say series too long, Thug not read...


Discworld series, Terry Pratchett

Unless you're Bob you've read them.


Sandman Series, Neil Gaiman

A series of graphic novels, everyone should give them a go. Intricate plots and references between books make this a very rewarding read.

Top 10 videos:

Videos are borrowed less, though obviously get watched in the library a lot. So the numbers aren't so significant here and I'm leaving them out. But for what it's worth, these are the most-borrowed (though not necessarily most watched!)


Cube (psychological horror)

Don't watch this with a mathematician, but after dark and with the lights out. Small, focused and somehat upsetting.


The Sixth Sense (another psychological horror...)

Bigger budget, much better film (Ed: Not everyone would agree with that). Not really a horror film per se... but creepy all the same.


Monty Python and the Holy Grail (comic fantasy at its best)

You know, you've seen it. (and probably heard people in the library chanting along)


Neverwhere (gaiman's London-below)

Very 'BBC' in feel, watching Neverwhere before it aired on TV was one of the first events I ever went to run by icsf. Full of puns, atmosphere and quirkiness, this series is a Gaiman classic.


Akira (manga (Ed: Anime, surely?))

Rah mutant monster smash the city! And bulge in a disturbing fashion all over the place!


The Italian Job (not sf...but cool)

I don't even want to talk about the remake. 'You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!'


Dr Strangelove

Apocalyptic nuclear holocausts don't get more surreal than this. Dr Strangelove (aka How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb) is slow by today's standards but has some truly fantastic satirical imagery.


Galaxy Quest (spoof on the star trek phenomenon)

Romp is the best best description of the film. Taking the piss of the Trek franchise and doing it with style.


Starship Troopers

Another piss-take, if a rather more brutal and bloody one. Manages to avoid the tedious politicing of Heinlein's book while still getting its point across (Ed: Again not everyone would agree - why not read it and compare them yourself?). No power suits though (sob). A sequel is apparently in the works.


Blade Runner - Director's cut

One of my favourite films. The Director's cut is essential, the normal studio release is a travesty.

- dormouse & karne


About item:

- Akira & Making Of
- Blade Runner - The Director's Cut
- Cube
- Discworld 1: The Colour Of Magic
- Dr Strangelove
- Dune
- Excession
- Galaxy Quest
- Greg Mandel 3: The Nano Flower
- Monty Python And The Holy Grail
- Neverwhere
- Neverwhere
- Snow Crash
- Starship Troopers
- The Italian Job
- The Sandman 1: Preludes & Nocturnes
- The Sixth Sense
- Use Of Weapons
- Wheel Of Time: The Eye Of The World

Related items:

About author:

- Asimov, Isaac
- Bujold, Lois Mcmaster
- Card, Orson Scott
- Eddings, David
- Gaiman, Neil
- Hamilton, Peter F
- Heinlein, Robert
- Jordan, Robert
- Mccaffrey, Anne
- Pratchett, Terry
- Video
- Herbert, Frank
- Banks, Iain M
- Stephenson, Neal

Related authors:


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